The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second half of the third week of February gives anglers the first quarter moon and a twenty-degree high-pressure cold front, both occurring Friday. Therefore fishing will be fair to good today and better Thursday due to pre-front conditions causing fish to feed at above-average rates.

Today a southeast wind will produce rain in the afternoon and evening hours followed by a strong south wind Thursday which will create the pre-front conditions. Winds switch out of the west during the late morning hours on Friday, reaching speeds in the upper teens for mph by early afternoon.

Friday temperatures will drop twenty degrees and temperatures will remain in the high sixties for a daily high and the high forties for a daily low on Saturday. Therefore you can expect fish to shut-down this weekend. However, next week the moon enters its highest positive influence rate of the month four days prior to the full moon on February 27.

Looking ahead to next week, the moon moves directly into the solar energy path on Monday—the ‘High’ point of the month. Therefore a five to six rating will occur Monday and steadily improve to an eight to nine rating by the weekend of February 27-28.

So fishing today and Thursday should be fair to good, but fishing until Monday or Tuesday will be very challenging as winter weather conditions return with a vengeance Friday through Sunday.

Best Fishing Days: Thursday will be a pre-front day and perhaps Friday morning fish will still be in a pre-front feeding pattern, all depends on the timing of the twenty degree cold front---front enters the state when the wind switches to the west. Friday through Sunday fish will shut-down, slowdown, as water temperatures plunge about fifteen degrees.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 5:06 p.m. and the sunset at 6:18 p.m. producing a feed rating of 3-4 from 4-7:30 p.m. Daily this feeding period remains triggered by the sunset instead of the overhead moon. But over the next four days fish could be feeding after the setting sun instead of before it.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 10:32 a.m. and solar noon at 12:39 p.m. producing a feed rating of 3-4 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Daily this feeding period moves later by 30 minutes and becomes the major feeding period this weekend as fish trigger off of solar noon and the moonrise, as water temperatures peak at the daily high mark.

Prime Monthly Periods: February 24-March 2 strong full moon, 10-16 new moon, 25-31 strong full moon, April 9-15 new moon, 24-30 super full moon, May 8-14 new moon, 23-29 super full moon.

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: I have added a “Sign-in/Register” option on the website. I invite you to register, which will provide you access to extra bass fishing content when you ‘sign-in’. I’ll publish ‘extra’ information when fishing factors changed from what this article predicted Sunday and Wednesday. We all know the weather is not always predictable three days or more in advance.

A 4-6 hour bass charter trip for $300.00 for two anglers, all gear, artificial bait and tackle included. Or, if you need to learn a particular lake and discover where fish are, call for a ‘Custom Bass Fishing Classroom on the Lake’ quote. Call 863-381-8474 to plan and book your bass fishing experience today.

Istokpoga.info News & Info: The lake level is at 39.50 feet above sea level today. The S68 spillway status as of yesterday morning: Three of four gates are open 9 inches and flowing a combined 880 cubic feet per second. The current seasonal maximum level is 39.50’ and the low level 38.50’. Click on the South Florida Water Management and Army Corp of Engineer links for real-time lake level data and information.

Access this article online at BassFishingForecast.com, or HighlandsBassAngler.com

Fishing from Shorelines: Learn where fish feed along shorelines by consulting a lake contour map. There are forty-five Highlands County lake maps published online at FloridaLakesMaps.com. Each map is edited to include boat ramp locations and have been enlarged for easy reading.

HighlandsBassAngler.com offers bass fishing guide-trip options, 72 lake-contour maps and additional map resources, plus fishing philosophy, bass photos and more. Personalized custom fishing-package options for the leisure fishermen and serious and or professional anglers are available upon request.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and has experienced on twenty-five lakes, from the towns Kissimmee to Clewiston. Offers general bass fishing charters and specializes in tournament type bass fishing strategies on Istokpoga, Kissimmee Chain of lakes, Okeechobee, and several smaller lakes throughout Highlands and Polk counties. Visit HighlandsBassAngler.com for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: DavidPDouglass@hotmail.com